Patience Taught by Nature by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“O Dreary life!” we cry, “O dreary life!”
And still the generations of the birds
Sing through our sighing, and the flocks and herds
Serenely live while we are keeping strife
With Heaven’s true purpose in us, as a knife
Against which we may struggle. Ocean girds
Unslackened the dry land: savannah-swards
Unweary sweep: hills watch, unworn; and rife
Meek leaves drop yearly from the forest-trees,
To show, above, the unwasted stars that pass
In their old glory. O thou God of old!
Grant me some smaller grace than comes to these;—
But so much patience, as a blade of grass
Grows by contented through the heat and cold.

Love by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

We cannot live, except thus mutually

We alternate, aware or unaware,

The reflex act of life: and when we bear

Our virtue onward most impulsively,

Most full of invocation, and to be

Most instantly compellant, certes, there

We live most life, whoever breathes most air

And counts his dying years by sun and sea.

But when a soul, by choice and conscience, doth

Throw out her full force on another soul,

The conscience and the concentration both make

mere life, Love. For Life in perfect whole

And aim consummated, is Love in sooth,

As nature’s magnet-heat rounds pole with pole.

The Soul’s Expression by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

With stammering lips and insufficient sound
I strive and struggle to deliver right
That music of my nature, day and night
With dream and thought and feeling interwound
And only answering all the senses round
With octaves of a mystic depth and height
Which step out grandly to the infinite
From the dark edges of the sensual ground.
This song of soul I struggle to outbear
Through portals of the sense, sublime and whole,
And utter all myself into the air:
But if I did it,—as the thunder-roll
Breaks its own cloud, my flesh would perish there,
Before that dread apocalypse of soul.